Tardy Thanksgiving Recap: Pies and Birds

It’s been a while since I last posted, but I have some Thanksgiving goodies for you to try out.

This Thanksgiving, I scaled back the number of dishes I took on , and ‘only’ made a Bourbon-Honey Roasted Turkey, a green bean salad, and an array of homemade pies [including: sweet potato, and pumpkin].

About 20 hours before go time, I began the process of brining the turkey, and here is my brine recipe, which I adapted for a 15 lb. bird. Overall, everything was fantastic, especially the juicy, succulent turkey.


Turkey Brine

Time

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Brining period: 20 to 24 hrs

Ingredients
Makes enough brine for one 14- to 18-pound turkey

  • 6 quarts (24 cups) water
  • 1 1/2 cups coarse salt
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
  • 1 Whole Star Anise pod
  • 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds (or stone ground mustard)
  • 1 fresh whole turkey (14 to 18 pounds), patted dry, neck and giblets reserved for stock, liver reserved for stuffing
  • 1 bottle dry Riesling
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme

Tools and Materials

  • 5-gallon brining container (tub, stockpot, or bucket)
  • Large brining or oven-roasting bag
  • Refrigerator (or a cooler with ice)

Instructions

  1. One day before roasting turkey, bring 1 quart water, the salt, bay leaves, and spices to a simmer, stirring until salt has dissolved. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  2. To minimize cleanup, line a 5-gallon container with a large brining or oven-roasting bag. Place turkey in bag. Add salt mixture, remaining 6 quarts (24 cups) water, and the other ingredients. Tie bag; if turkey is not submerged, weight it with a plate. Refrigerate for 24 hours, flipping turkey once. If there isn’t room in your refrigerator, place the bagged bird inside a cooler, and surround it with ice, replenishing as necessary to keep it at 40 degrees.

Brandied Pumpkin Pie

(found on the New York Times Website at http://nyti.ms/1cVulJf )

Brandied Pumpkin Pie

Time

  • About 2 hours, plus 1 1/2 hours’ chilling

Yield

  • 8 servings

Ingredients

  • For the crust:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (150 grams)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, preferably a high-fat European style, cold and cut into cubes
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons ice water, as needed
  • For the filling
  • 1 3/4 cups squash or pumpkin purée (see note)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar (153 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger (4 grams)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (3 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (3 grams)
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Pinch ground clove

Instructions

  1. Make the crust: In a food processor, pulse together the flour and salt. Add butter and pulse until the mixture forms chickpea-size pieces. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the dough just comes together. It should be moist, but not wet. On a lightly floured surface, gather the dough into a ball. Flatten into a disk with the heel of your hand. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 12-inch circle. Transfer crust to a 9-inch pie plate. Fold over any excess dough, then crimp edges. Prick crust all over with a fork. Chill crust for 30 minutes.
  3. While the dough chills, heat oven to 375 degrees. Line chilled crust with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes; remove foil and weights and bake until pale golden, 5 to 7 minutes more. Cool on rack until needed.
  4. Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée, eggs, cream, dark brown sugar, brandy, ginger, cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the nutmeg and clove. Pour mixture into the cooled pie shell. Transfer pie to a large baking sheet. Bake until crust is golden and center jiggles just slightly when shaken, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool completely before serving.
  5. Note: To make butternut squash purée, peel, halve and seed a 2 1/2- to 3-pound squash and cut flesh into 1 1/2-inch chunks. Coat with melted butter or oil and roast at 400 degrees, stirring once or twice, until the squash is tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. Let cool, then purée in a food processor.

Pecan Topped Sweet Potato Pie

Pecan Sweet Potato Pie

Yield: 6-8 servings.

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (150 grams)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, preferably a high-fat European style, cold and cut into cubes
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons ice water, as needed

For the filling:

  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt

Instructions

  1. Make the crust: In a food processor, pulse together the flour and salt. Add butter and pulse until the mixture forms chickpea-size pieces. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the dough just comes together. It should be moist, but not wet. On a lightly floured surface, gather the dough into a ball. Flatten into a disk with the heel of your hand. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 12-inch circle. Transfer crust to a 9-inch pie plate. Fold over any excess dough, then crimp edges. Prick crust all over with a fork. Chill crust for 30 minutes.
  1. In a bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs; mix well. Add milk, sweet potatoes, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; mix well.
  2. Pour into pie shell.
  3. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to 350°; bake 35-40 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
  5. Store in refrigerator.

Read more: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/sweet-potato-pie#ixzz3KCpyfbYW

 

Upside-Down Honey Roasted Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey

Ingredients

  • 15 lb. Turkey
  • 6 oz. Honey
  • Coarse Salt
  • Crushed Black Pepper
  • 10-15 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 5-7 Medium Onions
  • Fresh Rosemary, Thyme & Sage
  • 1 lb. Butter

Basic Ingredients and Instructions

  • 15 lb. Bird
  • 450 degrees for one hour(breast down)
  • 250 for 6 hrs (Basting every hour and flipping the bird after two hours at 250 degrees)

Instructions

  1. 7:30 am, drain the brine and pat the turkey dry with paper towels
  2. After you have drained the brining fluid and pat dried the turkey, loosen the skin around the breast and around the thighs with your fingers (and a butter knife if you need). Heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Then stuff butter, rosemary, sage, and thyme underneath the skin. Chop 10 cloves of garlic and 3 medium onions. Place all in the stomach cavity of the bird and rub the skin with coarse kosher salt and crushed black pepper.
  4. Then cover the entire body of the turkey in honey and pour 2 cups of whiskey into the cavity of the bird.
  5. After you have lifted your bird onto your roasting rack, place the breast side down. (This is upside down compared to traditional turkey roasting recipes)
  6. 8:15 am. Place the bird into the oven at 450 for one hour and baste. Then turn down the oven to 250 and cook for two more hours “upside down”, basting every 45-60 minutes.
  7. After you have cooked the turkey for three hours, flip the turkey so the breast is facing the ceiling. It’s easiest to flip with two people and at least two large metal spoons or forks, and then continue to baste every hour for another three hours, bringing your total cooking time to seven hours.
  8. While this seems like a long period of time, it won’t dry out your bird and will produce the most succulent turkey breast you’ve ever had because the juices accumulate in the breast while it’s cooking upside down and the salt and honey crisp the skin to keep in the fluids.

 Close up of Turkey Breast

Feel free to ask any questions, or leave any feedback you have from trying a recipe. Eat well!

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2 thoughts on “Tardy Thanksgiving Recap: Pies and Birds

  1. Reblogged this on foodbyray and commented:

    There are about three days till Thanksgiving, and as I sit at Midway in Chicago, I’ve started to add up everything I’m gonna need for a pumpkin pie, and the turkey. By tomorrow afternoon, I’ll have begun hoarding all the ingredients I need for my Upside-down Honey Roasted Turkey. If you have any questions or suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

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